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Thursday, July 8, 2010

Pickled Cucumber Recipe

When I was in the states, I noticed how everyone seemed to love pickles. I found a lot of them to be too sour for my taste but then I was given this recipe of how to make your own using Dill Pickles, which are just small cucumbers. I have tried this and it is just so much better than the bottled sweet gherkins that we get in the supermarket. Trying to find the best sized cucumbers to make it was a bit of a challenge so I just use normal small cucumbers.


10 medium cucumbers
8 cups sugar
5 teaspoons salt
4 cups spiced vinegar (or pickling vinegar)


Cover whole cucumbers with boiling water and allow to stand overnight.
Drain off water and repeat again until the 5th day.
On the 5th day, drain the water off and slice cucumbers into 1/2 inch or 1.3 cm pieces.
Combine sugar, salt and vinegar in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Pour over cucumbers and let stand for 2 days.
On the 3rd day, bring to the boil and seal in hot sterilised jars.

To sterilise jars, place in large pot and cover with hot water. Bring to the boil and let stand in the boiling water for about 5 minutes. Remove and dry thoroughly and pour the pickles into the hot jars and seal.

Tomato Soup Recipe

When winter comes around one ofmy favourite things is homemade soup. I am one of those cooks who often just throws in whatever I think will make a great soup. I also love collecting recipes from friends and family members who have a favourite one to pass on.
I found this recipe in my mums recipe book and I think she got it from an italian lady who used to share recipes with her. I have adapted it slightly to suit me. It is just so much nicer than any you can get out of a tin or packet and I am sure you will love it as much as I do once you have made it.


1 large brown onion - peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil ( I use a light tasting one)
1 clove fresh garlic - crushed
1 bottle of italian tomato pasta sauce ( I use the 700ml size)
1 litre chicken stock
4 very ripe tomatoes - chopped (Can halve cherry or grape tomatoes instead. About 1 punnet)
1 cup small pasta shells (optional)


Heat oil in large pan and saute onions and garlic for 3 - 4 minutes. Add fresh tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes.
Add the bottled tomato sauce, chicken stock and pasta shells. Bring to the boil and then reduce heat and cook for a further 25 - 30 minutes or until pasta is tender. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

I like to place some tasty cheese on top of some toast slices and brown under the grill to serve with the soup.